The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by data analytics and supply chain management, and the growing importance of technologies such as virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and 3D printing. In the last three years alone, there have been over 156,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in retail: video commerce. Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

50+ innovations will shape the retail industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the retail industry using innovation intensity models built on over 115,000 patents, there are 50+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, on-demand digital manufacturing, planogram optimization, and AR-assisted shopping are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Location-based personalization, personalized lookbooks, and self-checkout are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are in-store shopping assistance and digital signage personalization, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the retail industry

Video commerce is a key emerging innovation area in retail

Video commerce uses online video content coupled with latest technologies to enhance the probability of sale conversion in retail. The method combines various marketing elements such as advertisement, product demonstration, customer review and interactive shopping experiences into a video element to create an engaging and immersive experience for shoppers.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 230+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of video commerce.

Key players in video commerce – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to video commerce

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Walmart 160 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 60 Unlock Company Profile 54 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 52 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 50 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 34 Unlock Company Profile
Promptu 34 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 26 Unlock Company Profile
eBay 22 Unlock Company Profile
Legend 22 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 20 Unlock Company Profile
NCR 19 Unlock Company Profile
Unlikely Artificial Intelligence 18 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 18 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 16 Unlock Company Profile
Mastercard 14 Unlock Company Profile
aisle411 13 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 13 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Electronics 12 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 12 Unlock Company Profile 11 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 11 Unlock Company Profile 11 Unlock Company Profile
SoundHound AI 10 Unlock Company Profile
Brain Technologies 8 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 8 Unlock Company Profile
Jetson AI 8 Unlock Company Profile
VB Assets 8 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 8 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 7 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 7 Unlock Company Profile
East West Manufacturing 6 Unlock Company Profile
Soham 6 Unlock Company Profile
24/7 Customer 6 Unlock Company Profile
KT 6 Unlock Company Profile
Didi Global 6 Unlock Company Profile
Wipro 6 Unlock Company Profile
Naver 6 Unlock Company Profile
Rakuten Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 5 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 5 Unlock Company Profile
LG 5 Unlock Company Profile
Target 4 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Connected 4 Unlock Company Profile
Qinghai Woaisi Intelligent Technology 4 Unlock Company Profile
ConverseNow Technologies 4 Unlock Company Profile
Haier Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
JPMorgan Chase 4 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications 4 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 4 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

The leading companies in the video commerce space in terms of patents filed are AT&T, eBay, Microsoft and Pandell. With its video commerce solutions, AT&T helps retailers make their e-commerce platforms more interactive, and robust for scalable operations. The tech giant’s solutions also claim to provide easy and intuitive interface for better shopping experiences.

The leading companies in this space in terms of application diversity are Cox Enterprises, followed by IP and Flex.

By geographic reach, Pendrell leads the pack, followed by Stratosaudio, and Nant.

Video commerce services provide demonstrations of products, directly accessible via shopping links included in the video. It enables shoppers to get a feel of the product before making a purchase, which is made efficient through the embedded link in the video. Retailers can choose to allow customers to directly add the product to their carts from the video, avoiding the need for shoppers to leave the video or site on which they are viewing the video.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Retail

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.